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Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy  Board

Mission Statement

The Otago Chaplaincy  Board  exists to provide chaplaincy services on an ecumenical basis to the regional tertiary education institutions: at present, the University of Otago   and  Otago Polytechnic.

Goals

  1. To affirm, as Christians, the value of the spiritual dimension in the educational process.
  2. To encourage and contribute to the wise use of knowledge.
  3. To foster a sense of community within the tertiary institutions, and promote links between those institutions and local and national Christian church communities.
  4. To participate in the provision of pastoral care.
  5. To maintain the resources required to support ecumenical chaplaincy work on the Otago tertiary campuses.

Ongoing Objectives

The committee will work with and through the agency of its chaplains to carry out these goals in the following ways, defined as ongoing objectives. It is understood that the chaplains will formulate, carry out and assess annually in consultation with the committee appropriate individual sets of objectives and programmes of action.

Goal 1: To affirm the value of the spiritual dimension in the educational process.

A: To support and affirm staff, students and all others who uphold this value in the context of tertiary education.

B: To facilitate the expression and affirmation of spiritual values in the tertiary educational institutions.

C: To conduct services of worship, and other religious services as required.

D: To sensitise tertiary communities to important contemporary ethical, moral, and religious issues.

E: On request, to participate in tertiary teaching in the field of religion and spirituality.

F: To represent the mainstream national Churches to the tertiary institutions of education.

Goal 2: To encourage and contribute to the wise use of knowldege.

A: To be faithful to the Christian prophetic tradition in dealing with the structures of the tertiary institutions.

B: To arrange for and participate in forums and discussion groups.

C: To make available on request chaplain's personal teaching and lecturing skills.

D: To conduct research, where it is appropriate, in cooperation with staff, students and other members of these educational communities.

E: Where appropriate, to provide academic supervision for student's learning programmmes.

Goal 3: To foster a sense of community within the tertiary institutions, and promote links with local and national Christian church communities.

A: To provide a model of unity by developing a team approach among all chaplains working on campus.

B: To be alert to the needs and problems of staff, students, administrators and all other members of the tertiary education communities.

C: To form links with Christian groups within the institutions, and encourage interaction among all groups with religious or spiritual concerns.

D: To maintain official connections with the Council of Churches of Aotearoa-New Zealand, and participate in national conferences of chaplains and chaplaincy Board representatives.

E: To inform churches about the nature and life of tertiary educational institutions by such means as reports, addresses and participation in local services of worship.

F: To transmit national and local church concerns and views to the tertiary institutions.

G: To accept from time to time a representative role on behalf of the institutions.

H: To establish a database, and maintain it as an updated open resource.

Goal 4: To participate in the provision of pastoral care.

A: To participate in general professional counselling.

B: To address personal religious questions and problems.

C: To lead or provide resources for religious celebrations and services, such as weddings and funerals.

D: To work for the improvement of the social welfare of all members of the communites.

E: To see that adequate pastoral supervision is provided for the chaplains in the Otago Tertiary Chaplaincy Committee's employment.

Goal 5: To maintain the resources required to support chaplaincy work on the Otago campuses.

A: To ensure that the committee is as widely representative and effective as possible.

B: To raise sufficent income.

C: To provide adequate office and secretarial resources.

D: To encourage its chaplains to develop and regularly review their own work programmes.

E: To assist the chaplains in their annual goal setting; to monitor progress; and to provide feedback on performance.

A reflection written in 1990

In the sesqui centenary year of 1990 it is fitting and appropriate to establish a charter for the Tertiary Chaplaincy here in Otago.

Educational institutions have undergone a search process of scrutinies, developing new strategies to meet the challenges of teaching and learning in this knowledge and skill hungry age.

On the other hand since the 1960's the mainline Churches, have struggled to comprehend how to participate effectively in the social and personal revolutions that have taken place in our society including the student world.

Two significant events in the last twenty years make this charter an important compass for our progress in the coming decade.

The breakdown of the bold attempt by the Churches to bring about a common institutional organism, needs reflection in the light of the current powerful philosophies that place individualism at the centre of life. In the light of this issue, the Charter has shifted the function of chaplaincy from a denominational, Worship-centered ministry to a broadly-based Spirit-learning centered ministry. This reflected in Goal 1.

The second major event in the society of Aotearoa-New Zealand is the powerful eruption of sentiment concerning the function of the treaty of Waitangi in our political lives. This has links with new understandings of how we relate to the land, use and respect the environment, and how varied cultures may live in community with one another. Goal 2 and Goal 3 are attempts to centre the Charter solidly in the area of partnership and covenant relationships with Maori, the tertiary educational institutions and with the churches.

People in years to come will be able to look back and judge whether the Chaplaincy committee of 1990 created an instrument appropriate for its time and beyond.